Five Tips for Moving Spring Chicks
Kevin Felts 03.08.17
When are spring chicks supposed to be moved to the main flock?
You took the plunge, bought some spring chicks, they are growing like crazy, but you are unsure when they should be moved to the main flock. This is a question that just about everyone who has an established chicken flock ask.
Let’s talk about some tips to help in your decision on when to move the chicks.
Location and Weather
A lot of it depends on location and weather.
I usually buy my chicks around the first of February, and they are usually ready to go out to the main flock around the middle of March. Here in Southeast Texas, our chances of freezing weather and frost are almost gone by the Ides of March.
In the north where there is still snow on the ground, chicks may not go out to the main flock until much later.
Before chicks go out, they should have their tail feathers and have well defined wing feathers.
In case there is a cold snap, being fully feathered will help the chicks deal with the cold weather.
Use a Fishing Net
Chicks at 6 weeks old will be very fast and agile. Trying to grab them by hand can be dangerous to the chicks.
Rather than trying to grab the chicks by hand, get a fishing net. Put the net over the chick, scoop it up, then take it out of the net.
The chick may become tangled in the net. Take your time and be gentle when removing the chick,
This is a traumatic experience, which will only be made worse if the chick is injured.
What to Expect with Spring Chicks
Released into the main chicken house the chicks will probably find somewhere to hide. Chances are they will bunch up in a corner or hide behind something like the feed barrel..
Give them their space. The first couple of days will be spent exploring the chicken house and just outside the house. The chicks will see the big chickens going through the door and will figure it out.
In no time they will be outside the chicken house digging around.